Bellvitge Develops a Real-Time Digital Tool to Detect Heart Attack Risk

- Innovation

This innovative initiative in post-myocardial infarction (post-AMI) management marks a milestone as the first experience of its kind in Spain.

The Artemis project, part of the post-AMI territorial program in the South Metropolitan region, offers an innovative and proactive approach to secondary cardiovascular prevention.

Patients who survive an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) have a significantly higher risk than the general population of experiencing new cardiovascular events, including cardiovascular death. Scientific evidence indicates that this risk is particularly high during the first year after the initial event. In this context, a novel initiative led by the Heart Diseases Area of Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB), in collaboration with Novartis through a public-private partnership has developed a pioneering tool for the intelligent use of data, which could revolutionize prevention in the twelve months following a heart attack.

Thanks to a digital dashboard, the Artemis project provides a real-time view of the status of patients who have suffered a heart attack, identifying those at highest risk and anticipating possible complications with more effective preventive interventions. This project, the first of its kind in Spain and unprecedented in Catalonia, combines process re-engineering with Lean management methodology and the use of intelligent data for medical decision-making.

“We are starting to monitor macro health outcomes in real time, which will allow us to detect and locate patients out of range of cardiovascular risk factor control,” says Dr Oona Meroño, cardiologist, director of the Preventive and Community Cardiology Programme (post-AMI), and co-coordinator of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit at HUB.

“Until now, unless the patient proactively contacted their cardiology team, we were not aware of health incidents beyond follow-up visits. Now we will be able to assess many parameters of blood tests, biometric data, and other medical tests that can influence the patient's evolution,” said Dr Meroño. “This will allow us to intervene in a timely manner, provide specific and individualized education, and improve long-term outcomes,” she adds.

The development of this dashboard has been possible thanks to the joint work of clinicians and engineers specialized in the intelligent use of data. “Without public-private collaboration, innovation initiatives like this, with a clear benefit in clinical care for patients and biomedical research for society would be unfeasible,” states the project leader.

Artemis will be presented at the Congress of the Catalan Society of Cardiology on 30 May, where it is expected to generate interest and serve as a model for future initiatives in this field.

Physical exercise, self-care, diet and psychological support.

The Artemis project is part of the Preventive and Community Cardiology Programme (post-AMI) that Bellvitge University Hospital has been implementing in the South Metropolitan health region since 2021.

This is a multidisciplinary, patient-cantered program that treats more than 250 patients a year, offering them coordinated follow-up during the twelve months following hospital discharge, both in the hospital setting and in primary care. In this program, all the elements necessary for the rehabilitation and recovery of patients after suffering an acute coronary syndrome are organised at a territorial level and in a coordinated manner.

“It has been shown that morbidity and mortality after a coronary event are reduced by guiding patients to acquire healthy lifestyle habits, with smoking cessation, pharmacological management and the implementation of a cardiac rehabilitation program that addresses the control of cardiovascular risk factors in secondary prevention, training through physical exercise, self-care and diet, as well as psychological support,” adds Dr Meroño.

Training and mentoring to expand the program to other territories

The coordinated and comprehensive approach of the Preventive and Community Cardiology Program in the South Metropolitan region has shown excellent results in improving patients' health and their perceived satisfaction. In order to share its knowledge, the Heart Diseases Area of the Hospital de Bellvitge, within the framework of the Institut Català de la Salut, offers mentored training on this program, based on a rotation-mentoring model.

This training rotation is aimed at specialists or trainees, nursing staff and Medical Science Liaisons (MSL), and focuses on the main areas of interest of the participants, allowing direct interaction with the clinical teams. The training modules include patient coordination and follow-up sessions, the inclusion of digital tools in secondary prevention programs, accompanying the in-hospital team in the clinical assessment process, comprehensive assessment, psychosocial and discharge planning and coordination, and multidisciplinary consultation of the physical exercise program.

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